Most great Westerns are about the spectacle, either of sheer magnitude (MacKenna's Gold, True Grit) or sheer style (Once Upon a Time in the West). Somewhere, the humanity is slightly overlooked, and we're quite okay with it. Not with "El Dorado" which subverts heroic deeds with a thorough emphasis on humanizing the characters and their circumstances. The heroes and the villains are the fastest in the land with a gun, but each have their flaws. John Wayne's Thornton suffers from paralytic attacks to his shooting hand while Robert Mitchum's Sherriff Harrah cannot stay sober after a wandering lover has left him. They strike up a team facing off land stealing barons and their hired guns. Harry Brown (novelist) and Leigh Brackett (screenwriter) serve up genuine moments of humor, pain, humility, vulnerability, foolish bravado, and poised gallantry. Howard Hawks (director) handles all of this with sincerety, always grounding this western in palpable and refreshing reality. James Caan, Charlene Holt, Arthur Hunnicutt, and Michele Carey add an enjoyable energy, glamour, and frolic. The movie feels like a distant albeit joyful twin to the very balming "The Searchers". Streaming on Netflix now.
Atlantic City says so much about two people in a relationship, without saying too much.
A comedy that is fun, while being just good cinema in the first place.